and that the officers and employes are doing all in their power with the means at their command.
He further informs me that your supplies at the time of the complaint went forward promptly as fast as delivered to us by connecting roads below, except in the case of beef cattle, which he had not stock cars to carry. If you would impress a few stock cars from some of the roads below Atlanta and place them on the State road to carry beef cattle it would greatly facilitate the business. I think cars of that class have been sent to South Carolina by some of our roads to engage in carrying cotton with which to run the blockade, much of it for private speculation. If your commissaries drive the cattle in future, as you suggest, that will obviate much of the difficulty, though I fear you may not find it easy to procure food for them on the way through the country from Atlanta to Dalton.
I think your suggestions in reference to the employment of negroes to do much of the labor now done in and about the army by soldiers are wise, and I regret that I have no power to furnish them. If Congress would provide for calling a sufficient force of negroes for these purposes into the field, apportioning the number among the different States, it would be a judicious movement. In that case the planters of Georgia would cheerfully furnish their quota.
It is probable I may find it necessary to convene the Legislature of the State early in the spring. If so, I will submit this question for their consideration, as I have no power to act without further legislation. I beg to renew the assurance that I will in all matters within my power render you every possible assistance.
With high consideration and esteem, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH E. BROWN.
P. S.-I will send you a copy of the late act of our Legislature in reference to deserters. I shall do all in my power to have it executed.
J. E. B.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
No. 3. Dalton, Ga., January 16, 1864.
Captain Richard J. Manning is announced as an aide on the staff of the general commanding.
By command of General Johnston:
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., January 16, 1864.
Lieutenant General L. POLK,
GENERAL: In reply to yours of 12th instant, I have to state that the removal of the non-combatants of Mobile is entirely beyond our control.
I have been endeavoring ever since Vicksburg fell to get the people